Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil has commenced production from the Visund North oil and gas field in the North Sea.

According to the company, Visund North is the sixth project that has started production of the 12 ‘fast track’ projects it has in its portfolio.

Statoil Visund North field development head Hogne Pedersen said the company is starting production at the field only three to four weeks after the scheduled startup that was established two years ago.

"This is also taking place within the investment frame and without serious HSE incidents," Pedersen added.

At the field, total recoverable reserves are estimated at 29 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and total investment for the development is NOK3.3bn ($553m).

Operated by Statoil, the Visund oil and gas field covers blocks 34/8 and 34/7 and is located 22km north-east of Gullfaks in the Tampen area.

Visund North, part of the original plan for development and operations (PDO) for the Visund field, is a separate subsea development ten kilometres from the Visund A platform.

A standard subsea template with two wells, which is tied back to the Visund A platform through a new pipeline system, carried out the field development.

Statoil Kvitebjørn, Visund and Grane vice president Tom Karsten Gustavsen said production from Visund North contributes to the extension of the economic lifetime of the Visund A platform.

"In addition new resources in the northern Visund area has been proved with the Rhea discovery in January 2013 which was drilled by an exploration pilot from one of the Visund North wells," Gustavsen added.

Besides Visund North, the five fast track field developments in production are Skuld, Stjerne, Vigdis North-east, Hyme and Visund South, while the remaining seven are Vilje South, Fram H-North, Svalin C, Gullfaks South oil, Oseberg Delta 2 and Gullfaks Rimfaksdalen.

By the end of 2014, the 12 fast track field developments are scheduled to produce 200,000boe per day, of which Statoil’s share is 100,000boe.

Image: Statoil’s Visund A platform in the North Sea. Photo courtesy of Kjetil Alsvik.